A lot of couples want a group photograph of all of their guests. And you can understand why.
It’s a terrific photo, but it is important to know your location well before you promise this shot to the bride and groom. It is imperative that you have the right location, since you will either need to stagger the group (by using steps or something that gives you different levels) or by getting up high and shooting down on the guests. If you are shooting down on them from a few stories in the air, then you don’t have to worry about positioning as much—everyone will be looking up at you, so no one will be hidden. Ask the bride and groom to stand in front, and then have everyone else crowd around and look up.
If you are staggering the group and shooting them from the same level or below, it is important to pay more attention to the positioning. There are always some people who will try to stand behind others—try to tell the group that no one should be behind anyone else unless they are on a different step. You will also need to be aware that some of the older folks in the group may not be able to navigate stairs well, so you should encourage them to stay near the bottom row.
Stuffy, staged wedding photos are a thing of the past. Master modern wedding reportage and capture the true spirit of the event and the personalities of the couple and guests with Michelle Turner’s The Wedding Photography Field Guide. Get the latest information on digital gear, and a professional’s insight into the best techniques for covering the action. Whether you simply want to get great photos at a wedding you’re attending, if you’re breaking into the business, or you just want to refresh your approach, this book is full of useful advice making it essential reading for any wedding photographer today.